Silly Santa Stories

Based on the last two post I have been feeling rather silly lately.  We decided to offer a Holiday story time this year and I went with a Silly Santa theme.  Santa tends to be fairly safe in this area as a theme, he seems to be everywhere this time of year for breakfasts and photo ops.  he was even at our library last week for pictures during a holiday open house.  However, I did advertise that the theme was Silly Santa Stories so that people would know what they were in for.  I did the same theme at the local head start when I visited earlier this week and I asked before going to make sure that the theme would be ok.

I started with the story Santa's new suit by Laura Rader.  In this story Santa discovers that all of his red suits are dirty, torn, or too small, so he goes shopping for a new suit.  But, while he is out he decides that he will go in a different direction and picks a suit that is not red.  This does not go over well as the elves and reindeer hate the new outfit and the kids don't recognize him.  What will Santa do?  This is cute as a book, but I have also seen it as a flannel board.  You can find one version here with the storytimelady.

We also read the story Santa Duck by David Milgrim.  When Duck finds a package with a red Santa coat and hat he is thrilled.  He sets off to find Santa to give his wish list, but along the way is repeatedly stopped by the other animals who give their own lists to duck.  This is a cute book and the kids really liked the quacking holiday song that duck sings a few times.

The next book didn't quite make it in time for my preschool visit, but I was happy it arrived for the in-house story times as it is a fun book.  Have you been naughty or nice by Ethan Long is about duck, who is fairly sure that he is on the nice list this year.  That is until he eats all of the cookies that were intended for Santa.  Then he is certain that he will be on the naughty list.  Does duck have time to get back on the nice list?  This fun story is great for very dramatic reading.

I decided to use the flannel story that I came up with last year.  Since I moved to a new library no one here has heard it :).  The story is called Away flew Santa's hat and the idea is that on a windy Christmas Eve Santa's hat keeps flying away.  Each time a hat goes someone lends him a new hat, although at one point he is in a bind and has to use underpants.  You can read the full story here.

I managed to find some songs that weren't too Christmas-y.  We danced along to Carole Peterson's Freeze.  The music is the song Let It Snow, but they do not sing the words.  The kids dance to the music and occasionally it will stop and they have to freeze.  Some kids like this as they get to dance however they want (they are very enthusiastic) others just sit there and stare at you.

Carole Peterson has another song Jingle bells and stop.  Similar to the freeze only with bells.  This song has the kids jingle their bells and stop periodically.  In this one the stopping is more predictable as there are words and you stop at the end of each verse.  During the song you jingle bells high, low, fast, and slow.

We also used Laurie Berkner's version of Jingle bells.  She adds a little extra verse of her own at the beginning, so we just jingled through it.  Then the kids got to sing along to the traditional verse which they all loved.

As an extra activity, we did Santa exercises.  We sang 'ho, ho, ho' to the tune of Jingle bells and stretched up, down, out, and in.  We started with our hands out in front like we had a really big belly.  This was a good movement activity to help get the wiggles out.


Those Silly Babies

Last month we started visiting a local Head Start program.  I went and did a story time for 2 of the classes there.  Generally I would use a theme that I was already doing for story times, but since story time is on a break I decided to use the theme 'Silly Babies.'

The first book that we read was Mustache baby by Bridget Heos.  This book has been a favorite at my house (so much so that we bought our own copy).  Even my husband likes it and he is NOT into picture (or any other books). This is the story of baby Billy who was born with a mustache.  His parents are told that they have to wait and see if it will be a 'good-guy' or 'bad-guy' mustache.  This is a very cute and funny story.

Our second book was Simon Puttock's The baby that roared.  In this story Mr. and Mrs. Deer are unable to have a baby of thier own, but as luck would have it they find one!  However, the poor little baby will not stop roaring.  The Deer send for help but oddly their friends keep disappearing when they are left alone with the baby.  This silly story has a bit of a surprise ending, adults will see it coming, but kids may not.

The third story that we read was The cow that laid an egg by Andy Cutbill.  Poor Marjorie the cow is sad that she cannot do any special tricks like the other cows.  But, when she lays an egg she gets all sorts of special attention.  The other cows are suspicious that the chickens have something to do with this odd event, but they all just have to wait for the egg to hatch to find out what the baby will be.

Since I do my 'on the road' story time much like my in-house story time I took along my ipod.  Sadly the dock quit working (despite the fact it had been fine a few days earlier).  But, as luck would have it, each of the classes that I visited had a dock, which was great as the alternative was using my phone and that speaker is not very loud, or having me sing sans music.  So, there was music and dancing...

We started with the song Shake a Friend's Hand by Carole Peterson.  This is a good group song as it has the kids shaking hands, bumping hips, and scratching the backs of their neighbor.

I had them counting with Mr. Eric and the Learning Groove's 1,2,3, Whee!  This song is very fun as the kids love to throw their hands up into the air and yell 'whee!'  They also get to jump and shake.

I took the library shaker eggs and we sang Shake your boom boom by Angela Russ.  While your 'boom boom' can be anything, we use the shakers and move the shaker a directed in the song, such as up and down, in and out, back and front.

We ended with the 'Banana Chant' or B-Bananas by Carole Peterson that I used all story time session. I enjoy this fun chant and the kids always seem to enjoy it.  It is nice that this version repeats so that the kids can do it once to get the hang of it and then they get to do it again.


Sing a song in Story Time

This past week our story time theme was books that you can sing.  This theme is always fun because there are a lot of great books that can be sung.  And, you tend to get lots of audience participation when you pick songs that are well known by your toddler crowd.

Our letter of the day was S for Sing.  Many of the kids knew the letter S and were able to tell me the sound that it makes.  They had a little more trouble coming up with words that started with an S, but they had a few that started with the letter C, so that was close.

The first book that was sang was If you're happy and you know it by Jane Cabrera.  This is a fun one since the kids know the song but it adds lots of extra motions like flapping your wings, nodding your head, or turning around that get the kids up and moving.  And, Jane's illustrations are always nice and bright making them easily visible for story time.

Our second sung book was Lenny Hort's The Seals on the bus.  This is another familiar tune with the toddler crowd, so many of them sang along.  Though, in Hort's version there are many animals on the bus who make different noises.  To get the kids more involved I would ask them if they knew which animal was on the bus and what sound they made.  And, I really like the ending of this book when the skunks get on the bus...
This was our last story time for the fall session and though Thanksgiving is most of the month away I thought we could throw in the Turkey song.  I actually did this one last year, but that was at a different library and even still it is a fun one.  You can read about how I made the turkey here and watch the video to get the song lyrics.  The song is about colors of the turkey feathers, so it is good for the little kids.  I did modify it this time around and put the turkey on a paint stirrer stick.  I used velcro to stick the turkey on the front and added another piece of velcro to the back to put the feathers on.  This made changing the feathers easier since I did not need to pull the turkey all the way off of the flannel board to add new feathers.

We sang Carole Peterson's version of the song Shoo Fly.  In this one there are animal actions in between each verse so the kids are up and acting like alligators, birds, etc.  I have also done this in the past with scarves that the kids wave around to 'shoo' the fly.

We got out our shaker eggs for another Carole Peterson song and did the Shaker Hop.  This is a fun song to the tune of the Bunny Hop where the kids are putting the shakers in and out and then hopping around.

It was Carole Peterson day as we threw in the song Tommy Thumb is up.  This is a great finger play song that I use quite a bit to transition from a movement activity to a book.  It is kind of like Where is thumbkin, but you only use the thumb, pointer, pinkie, and then all of the fingers (skipping the 'bad' one and the hard one!)  And we ended with her song B-Bananas.  We have done this song every week of the session at the end of story time and the kids have really enjoyed it.

Our craft was a kazoo.  This was a very simple one.  Each kid got a toilet paper roll and a piece of white paper that was cut to fit around the roll.  They decorated the paper with markers and paint stampers then taped it to the roll.  Then, they used a rubber band to cover one end of the roll with wax paper.  When they sang or talked into the roll it made a funny sound.


Pretending at Story Time

This week our story time theme was Pretend to kind of go along with Halloween.  Sometimes I will embrace a holiday and plan a story time around it, other times I will pick a theme that kind of goes with aspects of the holiday (i.e. pretend or dress up for Halloween, gifts or toys for Christmas etc.).

So, our letter of the day was P for Pretend.  This was little harder of a concept.  For the letter of the day I have been printing of a very large letter and putting it up with a picture that goes with our theme (like a big A and a picture of an Apple).  Most weeks, they can get the letter and the word easily with the picture.  Today many of them knew the letter 'P,' but we got to have a little chat about what it means to pretend.  They liked this part because they got to tell me what they were pretending to be today (I had told them all to come in costume).

  The first book that we read was You're a lion: and other fun yoga poses by Taeeun Yoo.  This books was a LOT of fun for the kids.  It goes through different animal yoga poses.  The poses are simple enough for all of the toddlers to do (and for me to do whilst holding a book).  I really like that the directions for the pose are given on one page and then you turn the page to find out what animal you are.  This allowed the kids to guess what they thought it was and then yell out the answer when they saw the pictures.  Then, when appropriate, we made the animal sounds.  This was a super fun book that would be great for any animal, pretend, yoga, exercise, movement etc. theme.

Our second book was Anne Margaret Lewis' Fly blanky fly.  In this story a little boy pretends his blanky is all sorts of things, such a a rocket, camel, whale, airplane, and snake.  For this book I passed out our scarves and told the kids to pretend that the scarves were their blankies.  During the story they used the scarves to do the motions of the blanky swooping, wooshing, marching, etc.

The last story that we did was a flannel board that I made for Halloween based on Pete the Cat: I love my white shoes by Eric Litwin.  In my story Pete goes out to trick or treat and meets some 'scary' charaters.  But, he is not scared as he knows that they are just other cats dressing up in costume.  But, what happens when he comes across a pumpkin dog?  You can read the full story here.

To go with the Halloween side of the theme this week we did my favorite monster songs.  First was Laurie Berkner's Monster boogie where the monsters boogie and wiggle around the room.

We also sang The Learning Groove's We are monsters where the monsters stomp, clap, shake, and roar around the room.

Since Halloween is a few days away and we all have candy on the brain we ended story time with a little parade though the library and a very quick trick or treat where the kids got to pick one piece of candy and a pouch of fruit snacks.

Our craft this week was a simple mask.  The kids got a white card stock mask that they could decorate with feathers, markers, and foamie stickers.  Then, they could tape the mask onto a jumbo craft stick to hold it up to their face.

In addition to the craft we had a few activities.  I did a Halloween party for a family program last week and my son (who my mom brings to my toddler time) really wanted to do the games.  So, we had a few games added to our play portion of toddler time.
Spider ring toss: I wrapped white yarn around an empty picture frame.  The kid threw spider rings at the web and tried to get them to stick.

Ghost bowling: I added white tissue paper to our bowling set to make the pins ghosts.

Pumpkin bean bag toss: We happened to have three of these plastic pumpkins so we tried to throw the bean bags into them.

I also set up a Spider Web Walking game that I found via Pinterest from the notimeforflashcards blog.  You can click on the link to see how the original poster set her game up.  Mine was a little simpler, there was a web and I taped spiders at various spots.  The kids were supposed to walk along the web and hop over the spiders when they got to them.  Although, a few kids used the bean bags and tried to toss the bean bags onto the spiders, so that game was fun too!


Flannel Friday: Halloween with Pete the Cat

So, if you have read this blog in the past you may know that I have a little bit of an obsession with Pete the Cat.  I have made both a Christmas and Valentines version of Pete the Cat stories.  Now, I have a Halloween version.  This story is much like the original Pete the Cat: I love my white shoes by Eric Litwin.  In this story, Pete is off for a night of trick-or-treat fun.

Trick-or-treat featuring Pete!

It was Halloween night so Pete the cat put on his grooviest costume and headed out for trick-or-treat.  As he walked he sang to himself:
‘Trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat.  Can I have something yummy to eat? …Please?’

When all of a sudden,from out from the shadows jumped a scary witch!
Was Pete scared?  Goodness no!  That witch is just a cat you know.  So Pete kept walking.
‘Trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat.  Can I have something yummy to eat? …Please?’

All of a sudden, from out from the shadows jumped a frightening monster!
Was Pete scared?  Goodness no!  That monster is just a cat you know.  So Pete kept walking.
‘Trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat.  Can I have something yummy to eat? …Please?’

All of a sudden, from out from the shadows jumped a creepy mummy!
Was Pete scared?  Goodness no!  That mummy is just a cat you know.  So Pete kept walking.
‘Trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat.  Can I have something yummy to eat? …Please?’

All of a sudden, from out of the shadows jumped a chilling ghost!
Was Pete scared?  Goodness no!  That ghost is just a cat you know.  So Pete kept walking.
‘Trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat.  Can I have something yummy to eat? …Please?’

All of a sudden, from out of the shadows jumped a pumpkin dog!
Was Pete scared?  Well… maybe a little.  But, Pete, he knew just what to do.  He looked at that dog and he said:  BOOOOOO  and Happy Halloween!

You can find the rest of this week's round-up with Katie at storytime katie.  Check out the blog for all things Flannel Friday or stop by the Pinterest boards for all Flannel Friday submissions.  


Story Time Zoo

I have fallen WAY behind on getting some of my story times posted.  I guess that is what happens when life gets busy!

Anyway, a week ago our story time theme was the Zoo and we had a lot of fun with it.  We featured the letter Z for Zoo.  I have started putting a picture with my letter of the day to help clue them in on the sound and start making the association between letters, sounds, words, and reading.  My crowd has been rather young, so when we reveal our letter of the day I get lots of random letters.  At least they are giving me letters and not numbers.

The first book that we read was Eric Carle's From head to toe.  This is a great book for the toddler crowd as it can be very interactive.  Each page gives an animal and a movement that they can do (i.e. the elephant stamps his foot) so the kids can do that move too.  It also has repetition which is great for early literacy.

Our second book was Monkey and me by Emily Gravett.  They way this book reads I really thought that I could sing it, but I was unable to come up with a tune that worked well.  (Let me know if you come up with one!)  Instead I did the book as a chant.  I would say a phrase and the kids and parents would repeat it.  This added one extra sentence to each page (the book has you say 'monkey and me' three times) but it worked out really well.  Then, every other page features the animals that the little girl and her monkey saw at the zoo.  Since the kids were already in 'chant mode' most of them went ahead and yelled out the animal - which is exactly what I wanted them to do.

Our flannel board was the ever popular Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.  The actual book is a lift the flap book which is fun and the flaps are big enough to work in story time.  However, we already had a version that someone had made into a flannel board.  I actually had made one at my previous job but had to leave it behind.  You can see mine here.

We sang Sue Schnitzer's All the fish, which features lots of animals.  They are more of the pond than zoo variety, but lots of zoos have pond animals, right?

For Raffi's Going to the zoo we got out the scarves.  I had all of the kids wave them around as Raffi sang about Mama taking us to the zoo tomorrow and then we did the animal motions in between.

We have been ending every story time with Carole Peterson's B-Bananas.  The kids really seem to enjoy the repetition and the chant is fun to do.

We had 2 crafts to pick from, though many of the kids end up just playing with the toys.  For the crafters we had the outline of a letter Z and they could tear paper and glue it inside for stripes on a zebra.  There was also some yarn that they could add on as a mane.

The second craft we used cars to drive black paint lines onto a blank zebra to add stripes.  The kids really enjoyed this craft.  I had the zebras pre-cut and they could add the stripes then mount it to a piece of green paper.


Fabulous Flannel Round-Up 9.20.13

Here is the Flannel Round-Up for September 20, 2013.  Thanks to all of the contributors this week.  We have a great round-up with several seasonal posts if you are still looking to fill in a few fall themes.

Kathryn of Fun with Friends at Storytime is hitting the trails with her Cowboy themed storytime.

Ms Shaia from Thrive after Three bring us her version of Pete the Cat and his four groovy buttons (always a favorite)!

Christine at Felt Board Ideas shares several felt boards that can be used with a Transportation theme.  You can never have too many ideas for this theme, it is always a popular one.

Miss Kristen from Let the Wild Rumpus Start brings us a Sock matching game with some very adorable socks as well as a flannel for the book Ducks don't wear socks.

Sharon of Rain Makes Applesauce has some beautifully made Birds sitting on a line.

Analisa of The Preschool Procrastinator (love the name of her blog!) has a great poem and flannel board that she made to go along with the book The Kissing Hand.

SLCbookboy has Magic Sneezes for us this week.  I was thinking that magic sneezes sounded fun, but after reading this cute story I may re-think that.  However, sneezing in story time (for the story, not from germs) is always fun.

Miss Tara from Storytime with Miss Tara and Friends gives us an extremely cute, seasonally appropriate story with Ouch!.   Check out some of Miss Tara's other recent posts if you are looking for more ideas for apple themes (as many of us are this time of the year).

Bridget from What is Bridget Reading? shares with us a lovely Fall flannel set that she made inspired by Mel's Desk.

Andrea at Roving Fiddlehead Kidlit takes us on Safari with her African animals.  In addition to her lovely flannel animals she shares a LOT of rhymes to use with them.

Melissa of Mel's Desk shares with us both a Picnic flannel board and an idea for staff story time training.

Anna from Future Librarian Superhero has Apple Bingo!  (The song - not the game.)  I love how she uses some 'eaten' apples.

Shawn at Read, Rhyme, and Sing has a flannel version of Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar I love cookies - it was probably me who stole them!

The Library Lady from Story Time with the Library Lady sings a fun song called Everybody know that I love my toes for us with her ukelele this week.  Very cute song that would work with a variety of ages, the kind every storytimer needs several of 'just in case.'

Jane of Piper Loves the Library shares a very detailed tutorial for how to make some adorably stylish Sheep.

And there you have this week's Flannel Round-up.  Check Pinterest for a wonderfully organized collection of ALL Flannel Friday posts.  Visit the Blog for more information about how you can get involved by hosting, contributing, or pinning.

Speaking of getting involved, we are currently looking for round-up hosts for the end of this 2013 and early 2014.  Go here for more information.  Hosting is really easy, basically all you need is a few posts and then do some cutting and pasting to move the links from blog comments.  Some have even used linky tools that cut out the cutting and pasting.

Next week's host is Angela at ValleyStorytime so be sure check in with Angela next week for another installment of Flannel Board fun!


Flannel Friday Placeholder for 9.20.13

I am happy to be hosting the awesome flannel board round-up this week.  If you want to contribute all you need to do is leave a link in the comments and I will compile them into a post that will be ready either late Friday or Saturday am.  Keep an eye on the Flannel Friday Facebook page to know when the round-up is done.

If you are interested in hosting a Flannel round-up we are looking for hosts for later this year.  You can e-mail flannelboardfriday at gmail dot com to express your interest (it is a lot of fun, always exciting to see new ideas - plus you get a ton of blog visits!)

Happy Flanneling!


In the garden story time

Right in with the SRP theme of Dig into Reading was our garden story time for week 2.  Luckily, the messiness of mud week had not scared the toddlers (or their mommies and caregivers away) and we had a bigger crowd than we did for the first week.

The first book that we read was Zoe Hall's The surprise garden.  In this story some children are given seeds and plant them without knowing what they are.  They look at how the seeds are different from each other and then plant them in the ground, marking them to know where they are.  Then, they tend their garden and wait for the seeds to pop up.  This book has nice, bold and colorful illustrations and is great for a discussion about gardening.

Our second story was Up, down, and around by Katherine Ayers.  This was a fun book that talked about how different plants grow; some up, some down, and some around and around.  I had the kids do the actions of up (arms up) down (arms down) and around and around (circle hands like when you sing the wheels on the bus).  This made the story more interactive.  There is not much text, but the kids had a good time doing the motions as we read.

The last story we did was the pop-up flannel board that I created.  You can read more about how I made it here.

The rhyme that went with the board goes:
One little seed planted in the ground,
Give it lots of sun, and water all around.
Now we have to wait and see,
For a sprout to pop up,
What will it be?

Then the kids told me what popped up from the seed.  They really liked this one.  At the end the worm popped up so we talked about how worms do not grow from seeds but not all seeds grow into a plant.  We also talked about how worms help the plants to grow.

We sang the song See the sun by The Learning Groove.  We talked about how gardens need the sun to grow.  This song had us walking, skipping, and flying in the sunshine.

Laurie Berkner's Fruit salad salsa fit well into the theme.  We got out the shakers for this song and salsa'd around with the fruit.

Another fun fruit song is Carole Peterson's B-bananas.  This is a fun chant where the kids are bananas, they peel bananas, eat bananas, and go bananas.  Of course it is so much fun that then you do it again!

Our craft for the week was a parts of the flower craft.  I found the idea on Pinterest, and you can see the pin here. I think it is from the blog Mrs. Mayas' Kindergarten, but someone only pinned the main website and I had trouble locating the post.


Flannel Friday: A rainbow horde of dinosaurs

Dinosaurs have been a big part of summer reading this year with the digging theme and all.  So, of course no story time session would be complete without a dinosaur week.  There are so many options for dinosaur books and flannel boards that I had a hard time picking ones to use.

So, as I made my flannel board I tried to keep in mind the multiple possibilities and create pieces that could serve several purposes.  Thus I give you my rainbow horde of dinosaurs!
I made the same dinosaur in all the colors of the rainbow, plus two with rainbow spots just for fun.  (I really had to hold myself back on making some glitter dinos, maybe in the future.)  You can use them with all sorts of dinosaur rhymes and stories.  If you need some ideas just check the Flannel Friday Dinosaur Pinterest Board.
With my Baby Time group we used the dinosaurs for the story 'Dinosaur, dinosaur what do you see?'  (Much like brown bear only the colors of the dinos change so the kids or parents shout out the next color of the dinosaur.  This is a great concept that you can use with many different themes.)

For toddler time we did a story my co-worker passed along from Jean Warren called Dotty the Dinosaur.  I modified the original story some, mostly because I did not want to memorize the rhyme, so my story was a little more like the Chocolate Chip ghost.

So, we have a dinosaur who is green because she eats only green foods:

One day she finds some new food and tries that, but she finds that there is a crazy side effect to eating something not green.  Since turning different colors is fun, she tries a new food each day.

Finally, she decides to eat all of that yummy food a once and...

I have two options for Dotty at the end :)
She likes the fun colors and decides that she is going to keep eating all that yummy (and healthy) food and be a rainbow dinosaur forever.

I had also planned to sing 5 little dinosaurs but we ran out of time.  I found the song that I wanted to use at Recipes for Reading and it goes like 5 little ducks but involves lots of roaring.

You can find this week's round-up with Miss Angie at Mrs. Andre's Library.  All things Flannel Friday can be found at the BLOG and all contributions a pinned to the Pinterest Boards.


Fun in the Mud

We decided to add a new program this summer at our branch - toddler story time!  Yay!  I was worried about it some.  We got rid of a baby time to have a spot for the toddler time which meant that the only baby time is now in the evening.  But, the 'babies' that were coming to the morning baby time we replaced were mostly 2 year olds anyway.

Thankfully, it seems that the toddlers in this area were looking for something to do, we had 12 kids the first week and 22 by the third!

Our first week of toddler time featured Mud to go along with the summer reading program Dig into Reading.

We read Stuck in the mud by Jane Clarke.  This is a cute story about a chick who is 'stuck' in some mud.  Mother hen tries to pull him out to no avail.  Despite the icky mud other animals around the farm jump in to help and they all end up getting stuck as well.  This is a fun rhyming story with a surprise ending.  You could use this with an older group and have then act out some of the parts as the animals are repeatedly pushing and pulling.
The second book that we read was Mud by Wendy Cheyette Lewison.  This book is technically a reader, so it is a smaller size than I prefer to use, but the illustrations are big so they were not hard for the kids to see.  What I really enjoyed about this book is that in the story there is mud on various parts of the kid in the story so the kids could point to themselves to show where mud was.  One phrase 'mud everywhere' was repeated a few times, so when we got to that point we waved our arms around in the air.

Our last story was a flannel version of Emma Dodd's Dog's colorful day.  As dog goes through his day he gets various spots of color on him until he is so dirty that he needs a bath.  This is a good book for both color recognition and counting.  I like to have the kids call out the color as I put it on dog.  Then before his bath we count all of the spots.

Because you can't have mud without a little bit of rain first we sang Carole Peterson's Singing in the rain.  This is a fun song with added motions at each verse.  In between the motions you 'sing in the rain' so we put our hands up and dance.

I found a great idea for a song about mud puddles with Tara of Storytime with Miss Tara and friends.  She gave all the kids yarn to make a mud puddle to dance in as they sang Mud puddle jump by Kindermusik.  This was a lot of fun, though some of the younger 2 year olds just kind of watched the rest of us.  They were really excited when they found out that they got to take the brown yarn circles (aka mud puddles) home with them.

Because I like to use shakers or scarves with every program we sang The Learning Groove's Hip hop body rock.  It really had nothing to do with mud, but has the kids shaking a shaker by various body parts.  It tied in well with the book mud and is great for working on body parts as well as following direction.

Our craft was 'mud painting' where the kids get to finger paint with chocolate pudding.  They LOVED this.  I am not sure the parents were so keen on it (most of the crafts were left behind) but I think this is one of those activities where the experience is more fun than the end result.  Some of the kids were happy to just sit and smear the pudding around.  One little guy kept at it for 30 minutes and was covered up to his elbows.  Luckily we have a sink just off of the program room, so washing up was really easy.


Flannel Friday: Construction Trucks

Next week story times will have a construction theme.  I had lots of ideas for things to do, but I ran a bit short on time, so... for a quick and easy flannel board I made a few extra pieces to go with my vehicles set.  This is the set that I had already:

Last time I used it we sang the song 'Little Red Wagon' and after the first round where we bounced up and down in the wagon I brought out different vehicles to bounce in.  To go better with the construction theme I added a bulldozer and a cement mixer.  So, with the dump truck and pick up truck I could do the song again and have 4 verses.  I could also use it with the 'Brown bear' version (like the book Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? by Bill Martin Jr.) where you say 'blue truck, blue truck, what do you see,' then put up the next one and have the kids yell out the color or type of truck.

If I happen to get ambitious I may try to add a steam roller, bucket truck, or excavator, but we will see what kind of time there is.  I always enjoy when I have something on hand that can be adapted a little to fit a new theme.  And, I like being able to add to sets instead of making whole new ones.  Multi-purpose flannel boards are kind of awesome.

You can find this week's flannel round-up with Jane at Piper Loves the Library.  All things Flannel Friday can be found at the BLOG and you can see all flannel posts past and present on the Pinterest boards.